Traslacion: Prelate says Sto. Niño truly the magnet of love as thousands welcome Holy Child in Mandaue
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — “The Child Jesus is truly the ‘batobalani sa gugma’ or the magnet of love.”
Msgr. Daniel Sanico, team moderator of the National Shrine of St. Joseph, said this during his homily of the Mass to welcome the image of the Child Jesus and the Our Lady of Guadalupe, which would stay in the Shrine for a day.
“Despite adversities and problem, people come to him and make sacrifices to pay homage to the Señor Sto. Niño,” said Sanico, who also witnessed the thousands of devotees who attended the Mass to welcome the Sto. Niño on Friday, January 18.
Chief Inspector Aldrin Villacampa, chief of Mandaue City Police Station 1, said at least 10,000 people arrived at the church during the Mass for the arrival of the images.
The images left the Basilica after the Misa de Traslacion at around 7 a.m. enroute to the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Barangay Centro, Mandaue City.
The motorcade carrying the images of Señor Sto. Niño and the Our Lady of Guadalupe traversed M.J. Cuenco Avenue passing by Barangays Tejero, Lorega, Hipodromo and Mabolo.
Residents in the area where the motorcade passed by flocked to the side of the streets bringing with them their replicas of the Holy Child and the Blessed Virgin Mary, balloons and even children dressed like Señor Sto Niño.
Some made altars in front of their houses where they display different images of the Holy Child.
The images were turned over to the Mandaue City government as the motorcade reached Barangay Subangdaku here around 8 a.m.
In Mandaue, a larger sea of people stood outside the business establishments and schools to wave their hands to the images as these passed by them.
Several groups of residents, workers and students from the schools along the parade route even wore costumes and danced to the traditional Sinulog beat.
Sound systems, which reverberated the song Batobalani sa Gugma also known as Gozos, were also put up by residents along the parade route.
The traslacion parade arrived at the National Shrine of St. Joseph at around 8:40 a.m. and was warmly welcomed by the devotees through a Sinulog dance at the churchyard.
Traslacion, the Spanish word for ‘to transfer’, is done every year to unite the Holy Family: Señor Sto. Niño, his mother the Our Lady of Guadalupe and foster father, St. Joseph.
A Mass officiated by Msgr. Sanico was celebrated at the Shrine to welcome the Sto. Niño and the Our Lady of Guadalupe.
After the Mass, devotees started to queue outside the church for a chance to kiss the images of the Sto. Niño and the Our Lady of Guadalupe. The line of devotees looped until the road outside the church.
Villacampa said security measures were all in place to make sure that the devotees, who lined up for a chance to venerate the images, would be safe.
The images will stay at the National Shrine of St. Joseph until tomorrow dawn where the images of the Our Lady of Guadalupe and Sto. Niño will be transferred to the Our Lady of the Rule in Barangay Poblacion, Lapu-lapu City before the images will be brought back to the Basilica through the Fluvial procession.
Meanwhile, Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, who took part of the Traslacion since the turnover of the images in Subangdaku, said this year’s transfer of the images had been “the smoothest I’ve witnessed so far.”
“I will have to congratulate the police and RD [Debold] Sinas. This is so far the smoothest traslacion that we had, and I’ve heard that RD Sinas actually got a personal hand on this,” Quisumbing said in an interview after the Mass./dbs
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